Lancaster Canal

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The Lancaster Canal is a canal in the north of England, originally planned to run from Westhoughton in Lancashire to Kendal in south Cumbria (then in Westmorland). The section around the crossing of the River Ribble was never completed, and much of the southern end leased to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, of which it is now generally considered part.

Of the canal north of Preston, only the section from Preston to Tewitfield near Carnforth in Lancashire is currently open to navigation for 42 miles (67.6 km), with the canal north of Tewitfield having been severed in three places by the construction of the M6 motorway, and by the A590 road near Kendal. The southern part, from Johnson's Hillock to Wigan Top Lock, remains navigable as part of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The planned continuation to Westhoughton was never built.

Contents

History

The line of the canal was first surveyed by Robert Whitworth in 1772. In 1791, John Longbotham, Robert Dickinson and Richard Beck resurveyed the proposed line, and a final survey was carried out later the same year by John Rennie.[1]

In 1792 the promoters sought an Act of Parliament urgently, as proposals by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to alter their route would have affected the profitability of the southern section.[1] It received the Royal Assent on 11 June 1792, and was entitled An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal, from Kirkby Kendal in the county of Westmoreland, to West Houghton in the county palatine of Lancaster, and also a navigable Branch from the said intended Canal at or near Barwick, to or near Warton Cragg, and also another navigable Branch, from, at or near, Galemoss, by Chorley, to or near Duxbury in the said county palatine of Lancaster.[2]

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